Friday, February 24, 2012

Self Soothing for the Ego-Maniac--meaning all of us

My mind has been on the ego a lot these days. It keeps us attatched to being human and the world that we're living in. It sometimes blocks our vision of the inner light and muffles the sound of the Still Small Voice. And, seriously, we are crazy defensive of it, because we often confuse it with our identity. "Umm...did that lady just knock my outfit? My hair style? My kid? My home? et cetera ad nauseum." So we spend our time building up and defending the ego with all of the stuff/activities that identify who we are without even realizing it. We think our egos are so amazing that we even defend them against our nearest and dearest.

So many of us use up a lot of our energy trying to change the people we love, even when we don't realize it. We think they hurt us, and they sometimes do things that we find hurtful. We think they should change the behavior that gives us pain, and it does make sense to the ego. "My world looks like this. It has been carefully constructed for my highest comfort. Now you've sauntered in without respect for my past experiences, and you've behaved in a way that feels threatening to me. How dare you? Don't you respect my experience(err...ego)?"

Now would be an excellent time to hop over here and experience the offering of this alternative perspective.

The trouble with a defensive response is that we're punishing our current partner for the actions that created the original wound in the first place--the one we've not healed yet. The more we punish, the more they feel threatened, the more walls go up, and eventually, the relationship is going to crumble.

Now, I don't want to harp on the ego here. The ego isn't bad. It is through the ego that we get to experience life. Without ego, we wouldn't remember the value of living on this earth, of the thrill of stepping into an ocean wave, or of eating an enchilada (I am so craving good Mexican food right now).

What I take from Fred Luskin's lecture is that we need to learn to self sooth in order to have a well-working ego. One that serves us rather than us serving it. When we heal from our experiences, we clear the junk out of the way, so that we can experience the bliss of...experience. I'm talking about healing here, not coping. Coping can involve things like controlling or subduing ourselves, our emotions, or trying to live as best we can within the dysfunction. Healing involves taking a good look at the situation that has brought you pain, and sitting with it until you know you don't have to carry it any more. Then we step into the joy that is experiencing life with our whole selves, and that is good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I've been quite busy for the last couple of weeks getting the ball rolling on a big project I'm working on behind the scenes, and all I am going to say now is....Wow. There are so many courageous women out there, and if you are suffering, you are not alone.

Now that I'm getting a steady footing with that project, I thought it was high time I come back here and work on building community through Little Hearth. The truth is that I could use a community. I've got a lot of grounding to do in the midst of these new tasks I get to be a part of, and what a blessing it would be to hear your encouraging voices on the line.

The thing is, that so many of us seem to feel alone. We're surrounded by so many people, but we feel deeply and terribly alone. I'm beginning to wrap my heart around the idea that we (I) may isolate ourselves (myself) for protection. It's the work of the ego to prove to us that what it interacts with is the real stuff of life. Our bodies and what they alone can experience/observe, our thoughts, our feelings, the way we see the world. It clings to the way we feel about OUR surroundings, OUR opinion, OUR sense of the world we live in. Meaningful interaction with others requires us to at least temporarily make a crack in the wall of our ego so that we can experience the other. It requires that we consider the other. It chips away at our ego's strong grip on what we perceive to be true about our lives, because the other has another opinion and world view proving that our way cannot be the only way. Everything we think we know is subjective to our experience, and sitting with that can be uncomfortable...until it's not anymore.

I wanted to reopen the invitation to chat on a weekly basis on a conference line. Check out the previous post for more details, then pass along to anyone you think may be interested! You can contact me anytime, just click on my profile for contact information.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Hey everyone! So, my kickoff idea here at Little Hearth is to begin a conversation. A real live conversation via conference calls at a designated time for us to get together and chat about different topics that may be on our minds.

I seem to have an intimate relationship with isolation. Most people that I get onto the topic with tell me that they, too, are no strangers to loneliness. The idea for this gathering just sort of flew into my lap one day, after which I began to see the need for connection in a more specific light. I also began to see it as a completely solvable problem. While I wondered why it seems to be a challenge to find a place to connect, I noticed that so many gathering spots come with a price tag. When they don't they seem to be inconsistent, or are tailored to a specific group of individuals. After allowing all the ideas to gel in my mind, I came to the conclusion that Conversation should be free, convenient, consistent, and inclusive.

This isn't an exclusive gathering. Anyone who feels they would benefit from the giving and receiving of support, information, and inspiration is welcome to join in. Also, if you would just like to listen in, you are welcome to do so.

Maybe someone will have a pressing need to address, or maybe we'll start with a prompt. I'd like to get some feedback on this, to see who would be interested in what type of conversation, what your needs are, and what times are convenient to everyone throughout the week(knowing your timezone would be helpful as well).

I know I can often be found with spiral eyes staring at the computer screen attempting to quench my thirst for more connection to the people I care about, and the people I'm inspired by. But words are so black and white, and more often than not we're sharing about the recent success or illness of our children. I am grateful to have a space to share and receive notes of encouragement when I'm struggling with illness in the house or elated over the arrival of a milestone, but nothing beats the sound of another human voice that is there to love and support you.

I would be so grateful if you would share this with your friends and get the word out. Everyone is welcome. A diverse group will lend itself, I hope, to a greater understanding of the diverse world we live in, and of how we get to be in it as our individual selves.

Once I get some feedback, I'll set a time for our first call and post instructions for joining the conversation. Let's chat!